Using an alternative treatment has been found to greatly improve symptoms for children dealing with functional abdominal pain.
According to Newswise, children who used guided imagery in addition to mainstream medical treatments were almost three times as likely to improve their pain problem than kids who only had standard medical care.
Functional abdominal pain affects as many as 20 percent of children. It is defined as persistent pain with no identifiable underlying disease that interferes with activities.
The guided imagery treatments consisted of 10-minute weekly and 20-minute bi-weekly exercises done at home with a CD. One, for example, instructed kids to imagine they were floating on a cloud and relaxing.
Researchers say their findings support using alternative medicine as an important health resource.
"Children can clearly reduce their abdominal pain a lot on their own with guidance from audio recordings, and they get much better results that way than from medical care alone. Such self-administered treatment is very inexpensive and can be used in addition to other treatments, which potentially opens the door for easily enhancing treatment outcomes for a lot of children suffering from frequent stomach aches," said lead author Dr Miranda van Tilburg.